Corn salad is a salad green for which medicinal properties, health benefits and therapeutic value have long been acknowledged.
Corn salad, or Valerianella olitoria, belongs to the Valerianaceae family.
This salad green, a favorite among Europeans, can reach 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) in height. It is native to the Mediterranean area and can be savored in fall and winter.
Corn salad has a great many names: lamb’s lettuce, mache, nut salad, doucette, field salad…
There are two main types of corn salad: small seed and large seed, which is a bit paler in color. These two large categories are in turn divided into many more varieties: ‘Gala’, ‘Jade’, ‘Verte de Cambrai’…
- Read also: how to grow corn salad
Corn salad, a short story
Corn salad spread across Europe in the times of the Renaissance, around the XVIth century.
However, the Egyptians already knew of it in olden days. Corn salad was drawn to illustrate Egyptian tombs 500 years before Christ.
Corn salad health benefits
The Good Mood salad
Corn salad is a stress reliever that helps you keep your mood up. Vitamin B9 is the compound acting on the nervous system, ensuring you sleep well. Lacking vitamin B9 can cause anemia, digestive disorders and mood swings…
Corn salad as a source of vitamin C
Vitamin C, with its antioxidant properties, cancels premature cell ageing and hinders appearance of cancers. Moreover, it contributes to consolidating immune system functions, protecting the body from attack.
Corn salad also provides beta-carotene, another antioxidant, which is a formative vitamin A compound. Beta-carotene protects skin, eyes and keeps the body from cardiovascular disease.
Corn salad to lose weight
With very low calorie intake, corn salad only adds 20 calories / 3.5 oz (100 g). It immediately should be on the shopping list for healthy, low-calorie diets. It quickly makes you feel satiated, and brings on zero cholesterol and very few carbohydrates. It is a perfect addition to any diet.
Fiber for digestive functions
Corn salad contains a lot of fiber (1.5 g), and fiber eases digestion and is effective to regulate intestinal transit. It is a laxative.
Corn salad provides chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives corn salad its beautiful deep green color. Chlorophyll brings oxygen to the body and detoxifies it.
It is also a significant source of omega-3. These fatty acids are interesting in that they prevent cardiovascular diseases, they reduce bad cholesterol and prevent clot formation. They also prevent auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.
Corn salad also adds more crucial nutrients to the body flow: iron to help grab hold of oxygen and carry it through the blood flow, calcium for bone and tooth formation and growth, potassium to regulate tension and sodium for muscle contraction and ion equilibrium in the body.
There is no contraindication to eating corn salad.
Cooking with corn salad
Corn salad is 93% water and is very refreshing.
For starters or to pair with cheese, corn salad gives a touch of green to your meals and will decorate your plates.
To play with flavors, you can add pecans, avocado and why not even strawberries?
You can also sautee corn salad in a pan with a dollup of butter.
During grand events, corn salad will highlight such delicacies as foie gras and scallops.
Savory ideas with Corn Salad
- Corn salad with goat cheese
Corn salad with goat’s cheese melted on toast is divine, especially with a few sprigs of arugula to spice it up a bit.
- Corn salad cream soup
In a pan with a thimbleful of butter, fry 3.5 oz (100 g) corn salad with one chopped potato and minced shallots. Add 1 quart (1 liter) water. Boil for about twenty minutes, blend it all in a blender, and add one table spoon whip cream.
Dare to prepare sweet salad dressing to give your salad greens even more taste:
- Nature-and-Garden’s strawberry salad dressing
You’ll need: 4.5 oz (125 g) strawberries, 1 table spoon sugar, 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, and another of balsamic vinegar, as well as 3 table spoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend together and serve.
Smart tip about corn salad
Corn salad is very fragile, it will only keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, if still wrapped. After that, it starts withering and isn’t very appealing anymore.
How to grow corn salad in the garden, a few words:
- Corn salad is sown from end of August to October.
- It calls for regular but moderate watering.
- Harvest takes place 3 months after sowing.
Don’t procrastinate: get started on planting corn salad!